I was originally going to post this as a Facebook update, but it got long enough to be made into a blog post instead.
If you’re guilty of saying some of these things to me, I apologize in advance, and I still love you. But please, stop saying these things.
~”You’ll find someone. I’m sure of it.”
This one is depressing and frustrating, more than it is hope-giving. Unless you know someone who would be attracted to me, and to whom I would be attracted, you really can’t know this. When I was more naive, this used to give me hope, which would be followed by disappointment and frustration. These days, it’s a guess dressed as a certain fact that’s supposed to give me hope, but simply annoys me instead.
And if you do know someone like that, stop with the useless comments and introduce us already!
Viable alternative: “I can’t believe you haven’t found someone yet! The women around you must be blind or stupid!”
~”You’re so brave. I would never be able to do what you’re doing.” Obviously you wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing. You’re not in my situation. You do not feel disgusted by the inherent wrongness that comes with looking at your naked body in a mirror. I would never be able to do what YOU’RE doing (as in, stick to my birth sex). You must be so brave!
Seriously, now, I’m not a very brave person. In many ways, I’m a coward. Standing up for myself, for example, is a feeling that is relatively new to me.
I am, however, incredibly stubborn, and get by on sheer willpower. And caffeine.
Viable alternative: “I know what you’re going through must be incredibly difficult, and I admire your strength and perseverance. I’ll always be here for you if you need support.”
~”I’m sure this thing you’re writing, but that I haven’t read yet, because you’re still writing it, is going to be fantastic.” Could you please lay off the compliments until *after* you’ve read my work? By the way, when you’ve read it, telling me how I can improve makes me so much happier than just telling me it’s fantastic. It’s not. It may be above average, it may even be ‘good’, but it’s not fantastic. I don’t write *nearly* enough to write fantastic things. If it *is* fantastic, it’s probably a freak accident.
Also, note to self: write more.
Viable alternative: “That thing you’re writing, is it done yet? Can I read it? When will it be done? WRITE FASTER, BITCH!”
~”That exam/job interview/whatever you’re woefully underprepared for, I’m sure it will go fine.” Again with the baseless assumptions presented as fact? You don’t know how much I prepared for this, or how much I needed to prepare for this. You have no idea what my chances are beyond what I told you. And I told you that they are slim to none. And I do know how much I prepared, meaning I’m somewhat more of an expert on the subject of how fucked I am.
I would be able to count the amount of exams I had in my life where I said they were going to be horrible that didn’t go horrible on the fingers of one hand, even if I had the thumb and middle finger missing. In fact, back when I still had exams, I tended to overestimate my chances. So trust me, when I say I’m fucked, I’m generally fucked.
Viable alternative: “I’ll keep my fingers crossed.”
~”You shouldn’t wear makeup. You look beautiful without it.” I don’t. I look hideous without makeup. At least, I *feel* hideous without makeup. Makeup, for me, is as much a self-confidence boost as it is a way to make me look more attractive. Probably even more so. Even if I go out to a place where the only people I know either have a penis, or are in a long term relationship (which would be all the time), I still wear makeup. Why? Because I like not feeling hideous. What I do appreciate are tips on how to improve my makeup skills. I’m always in the market for more of those. Not so much requests to toss it all aside.
Viable alternative: “You shouldn’t wear heavy eye makeup with really intense lipstick. It’s either-or. Never both.”
~Say something Dutch! What, is my being bilingual a fucking circus attraction now? “Oh, hey everyone! Come look at the girl who knows a funny language! Say, something, girl! Say something in your funny language!” I know you’re trying to be interested in my linguistic ‘skill’, but how you’re actually coming across is rude, obnoxious and condescending. Especially since, to me at least, speaking my fucking mother tongue isn’t a skill. Now, if you’re interested in learning Dutch yourself, and you need my help with grammar, or sentence structure, or vocabulary or whatever, or if you’re just plain curious about the language (rather than my personal mastery of it), then that’s something else entirely, and of course I’m willing to oblige. But I’m not going to dance like a monkey for your entertainment.
If you want me to entertain you AND give me a compliment at the same time, pick one of the poems I wrote and ask me to read it to you. Seriously, no amount of foundation is going to hide the red my face will show then.
Besides, speaking a mere two languages, one of them being your mother tongue, and the other being, well, English, isn’t all that much of an achievement. I know people who speak upwards to eight languages, and those people’s linguistic skills I admire, and still I never asked them to ‘say something Russian’. Unless I needed a sentence translated into Russian to make a Russian character of mine more, well, Russian. You get the point.
Viable alternative: Hey, how do you say this in Dutch?
There’s more, but these are the ones I could think of off the top of my head.
I may update this as I find more, or I may simply forget about this. Either one.
And again, if I offended you, remember that I (most likely) still think you’re an awesome person, but this one thing you keep saying annoys the crap out of me. Stop it. Please.